Are you think of buying a convertible car for the first time or renting one for the summer? Congratulations, you have made a great decision — convertibles are fun to drive, very stylish and allow you to make the most of the beautiful sunny days we have been seeing in the UK.
However, before you jump into your convertible to take it for a spin it is important to learn a few things about the folding roof in your car. The simple tips below will help you enjoy your car without running into any “convertible related” problems!
#1 — Practice opening and closing the top before driving anywhere
Before you head down to the beach or to the local pub in your shiny new cabriolet, spend a few minutes testing the folding roof. Different model cabriolets have different mechanisms for opening and closing the roof — some vehicles need the engine to be running, others need the handbrake to be engaged.
Some cabriolets only allow the top to be operated when the car is stationary while other cabriolets allow the roof to be engaged while the vehicle is moving up to 20 kms per hour. Take a quick peek at the vehicle’s manual to learn exactly how your cabriolet’s roof works.
A bit of practice can help you avoid a humiliating situation like being stuck in the rain with the roof down!
#2 — Take your valuables with you
Some cabriolets can be easier to break into than a normal car — particularly if they have a cloth roof. Don’t leave your valuables or cash in plain sight. Lock them in the glove compartment or boot. If there is a quick release button for the boot inside the car, consider taking your valuables with you.
#3 — Roll the windows up
Once the vehicle is at full speed with the top down it can get quite windy. To reduce the amount of wind turbulence you experience, wind up the side windows. It will reduce both the wind and the noise — allowing you to hear the car stereo more easily.
#4 — Use the heater if you feel chilly
Don’t be afraid to use the heater even if you have the top down. Most modern vehicles are using the vehicle’s waste heat to power their cabin heaters, so it is not affecting the car’s performance greatly. Cabriolets like the Mercedes C-Class have state-of-the-art heating modes designed for use while the top is down. By turning the heater on, you can still enjoy the wind in your hair and the sun on your face, regardless of the temperature.
#5 — Don’t use the washer fluid unless the top is up
This is a mistake that you will only make once! If you use the windscreen washer fluid while the top is down, you might give yourself an unexpected shower.
#6 — Learn about the manual closing procedure
Some cabriolets have an emergency closing procedure that can be used if the car has lost power. This closing procedure should only be used if you desperately need to close the folding roof — don’t use it to forcibly open the roof if you have a mechanical issue.
#7 — Pack for all kinds of weather
If you are going on a long drive with the top down, pack for different kinds of weather. Bring sunglasses, a scarf, sunscreen, a hat, a long-sleeved shirt and a cardigan. You can adjust your wardrobe to make yourself more comfortable while enjoying the cabriolet with the top down.
#8 — Buckle up
Wearing a seat belt is always advisable while in a moving vehicle, but particularly so in a cabriolet. Don’t change seats while the car is moving. If you are going to bring any pets into the car, make sure they are wearing a harness and are clipped into a seatbelt as well — you don’t want to see your dog jump out of the car at high speed to catch a bird!
#9 — Secure loose items
When the top is down loose items can quickly be blown from the car. Make sure you secure your litter, pieces of paper, and items of clothing before driving.
#10 — Have your folding roof maintained by a professional
Owning a cabriolet is great! They are fun cars that let you make the most of the sunny weather in the UK. However, the folding roof on a cabriolet needs to be well-maintained to remain operational. Take it to a professional for regular servicing or if it begins to malfunction.
#11 — Put the top up when you aren’t in the car
In addition to the risk of having items stolen from your car, leaving the top down invites animals into the vehicle! You might find bird droppings or a family of squirrels visiting the car if you leave the top down while it is unattended.
#12 — Stay hydrated
If it is a particularly warm day, don’t forget to drink more water and wear sunscreen. It is easy to forget that you are spending a lot of time in the sun while the folding roof is down.
#13 — Dress your best
You know you look fabulous in your gorgeous new cabriolet. Match that glamorous look with a stylish outfit, cool scarf, and a pair of sunglasses. Have fun and enjoy yourself!
Cayman Auto Services — Leading Repairers of Retracting Roofs in the UK
If your vehicle’s folding roof requires maintenance or repairs, call Cayman Auto Services! We are the UK’s leading repairers of retracting roofs and have incredible knowledge when it comes to cabriolets. Contact us today on 01737 761 599..